Last week we were met with a very scary headline. The dreadful total of 100,000 people dead with this awful disease has shown us how much damage we have suffered. In March we’ll reach the anniversary of Covid-19 measures being introduced in the UK. Who would have thought that a year later we would still be in a lockdown?
We are all feeling the mental and physical effects of a year-long restriction of our lives, and long for a return to normal. Until then it is essential that we maximise our physical and mental health to help us cope.
You’ve already taken the first steps to maintaining your health, but until we can get back in the gym (can’t wait!), let’s have a look at how we can build our resilience to help us be the healthiest that we can be, in order to help fight this terrible disease.
This starts with our mindset. Why wouldn’t we want to change this to be more positive when it’s for a much better outcome? This is certainly possible by doing things such as taking a walk in the fresh air, chatting with friends and family, planning something for the future (it doesn’t matter if this needs to be rescheduled) or just taking a nice long hot bubble bath. All of these can improve our mood and make us feel more positive.
We should be aiming for 30 minutes of exercise a day to strengthen the heart and increase oxygen levels in the body, as well as boosting the immune system.
Studies show that “there is evidence of lower rates of acute respiratory infection incidence, duration and intensity of symptoms and risk of mortality from infectious respiratory diseases in individuals who exercise…Furthermore, different studies suggest that regular physical exercise is directly related to decreased mortality from pneumonia and influenza, improvements in cardiorespiratory function, vaccine response, metabolism of glucose, lipids and insulin”.
Plus, exercise can help you recover from the long-term effects of COVID-19 quicker, such as fatigue and shortness of breath. This can include a brisk walk, getting your heart rate up so that you are slightly out of breath, cycling or doing a workout at home such as Zumba, a boxing class or a Yoga class. We have an amazing Facebook group offering online classes, workouts, and a fantastic support network.
You can also have a read of our blog on exercising during the Coronavirus pandemic for some helpful ideas.
And, this one to help with motivating yourself to exercise.
Make sure that you are eating a healthy diet to reduce inflammation (this can help with IBS, autoimmune disorders and help to reduce the risk of obesity, cancer and heart disease), boost your immune system and fight disease. Include plenty of fruit and vegetables including tomatoes, spinach, strawberries and blueberries, fish rich in Omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna and sardines, nuts and olive oil.
Avoid foods such as fried foods, sugar laden drinks, white bread and pasta and limit the amount of red meat that you eat.
Have a read of our blog on how to eat healthily during lockdown.
And this blog has some lovely, easy recipe ideas for you to try.
Covid isn’t going away soon and could well be around for ever, but we will be able to manage it safely. The vaccine is in place so we can now see a light at the end of the tunnel, and there are things that we can do to help ourselves in the meantime.
Take care and stay safe.
Caroline & Hannah xx